Colonials Sweep Royals at Home
By JACOB VAUGHAN, Sports Editor
Sep 27, 2012, 13:32
COLONIAL HEIGHTS - Colonial Heights girls volleyball coach Toni Martin has a unique problem.
While coaches struggling to inspire intensity-filled training sessions often beseech their players to practice as if they were playing in a game, Martin said her battle cry has become the opposite.
"We practice a lot better than we play," Martin said. "That's why they kill me. They do what they're supposed to do in practice and sometimes get to the match and say, 'Oh, I'm supposed to play now?'"
No such question was asked on Tuesday. Colonial Heights looked downright dominant at times in a 3-0 (25-19, 25-10, 25-7) Central District victory over visiting Prince George. After a hotly contested opening set, the Colonials embarked on runs of 18-3 and 22-2 to claim the second and third sets, respectively.
Martin said those stints served as glimpses of the Colonials' potential.
"If they ever put it together, they shouldn't lose," Martin said.
The Royals began the opening set in promising fashion, matching the Colonials point for point in the early going. But the Colonial Heights trio of Krista Williams, Kayla Boyd and Mia Heydet gradually established breathing room for the home team with a sequence of acrobatic digs, timely aces and powerful kills.
Boyd provided the final point with an authoritative, cross-court kill that thwarted a late rally from the Royals and gave the Colonials a one-game advantage.
Boyd and Williams were the architects of the Colonials' explosive run in the second set. The two players, who are rarely substituted, bombarded the Royals with a barrage of kills.
No slouch on the service line, Boyd also registered three aces as Colonial Heights surged to a 25-10 win.
Martin said Boyd and Williams still are adjusting to the defensive duties that coincide with playing on the backline, but added that the multi-faceted players are offensive threats regardless of where they line up.
"They're kind of figuring out coverages and that kind of thing," Martin said. "But as versatile as they are, being able to have them on that backline definitely helps on the offensive side of the ball."
Despite several lengthy rallies and an unrelenting outpour of effort from Prince George, Colonial Heights romped in similar fashion in the third set. Senior libero Destinee Taft robbed the Royals of several points with lunging digs, one of which soared over the net and landed in bounds for a Colonial Heights point.
"Destinee is phenomenal," Martin said. "She's a great little libero. She will be hard to replace because she covers so much ground all the time."
Savannah Couch chipped in by finding soft spots in the Royals' frontline on two occasions with deft touches and the Colonials closed out their second straight district win.
Boyd finished with match highs in kills with 13 and aces with five. The junior also tallied three digs and two blocks. Williams, a senior, added eight kills, two aces, six digs and five blocks.
Prince George senior Katie Garrett also churned out a well-rounded performance, registering two aces, five kills and five digs before game's end. The loss dropped the Royals to 2-3 in district play, 2-7 overall.
Colonial Heights, which Martin characterized as "bouncing back" from a five-set loss to Matoaca two weeks ago, improved to 3-1 in district play, 5-7 overall. Yet, even in the wake of a dominant showing, Martin said the squad has a lot of improvements to make.
"We're going to continue to work," Martin said. "There will be absolutely no letting up on anything. We have to continue to do what we're supposed to do."